Hope to Generations Article

This stunning mural-sized artwork being displayed at Congress this weekend is the work of artist Allan Wrath. The deceptively simple line drawings create a picture of celebration, depicting the history of The Salvation Army, right up to our most recent innovations.

Allan created the mural live at this year’s Midland Division Youth Councils, over the course of six hours. The piece is called ‘Hope to Generations’. It’s his interpretation of the story of our movement bringing hope to each generation, over more than 130 years in Aotearoa,’ says Lieutenant Jordan Westrupp, Midland Divisional Youth Secretary. ‘In his research, Allan trawled Google and YouTube, learning stories that he could visually intertwine with his unique hand-drawn style.’

The experience was an eye-opener for Allan, who said, ‘I felt super blessed researching the history’.

Through his art, Allan has become connected to the Army, and has been left with the sense that ‘the Booth’s must of been some sort of legendary Christian non-conformist rebels. I’m blown away at the movement they created out of the Methodist church’.

The expansive artwork includes important historical moments, such as ‘The Maiden Tribute’—an exposé organised by the Salvation Army, which exposed under-age prostitution in the UK and brought about law reform to raise the age of consent. It also includes William Booth’s famous motto, ‘Others’, and Army lasses handing out donuts during WWII. If you look closely, you can see current innovations like The Good Shop, as well as pillars of our work like the Bridge, Family Store and Foodbank.